Daily Archives:December 6th, 2018

First Holy Communion

SACRED Heart Cathedral – English Sunday Faith Formation First Holy Communion…It was a hectic but happy and a memorable event when 117 candidates were prepared and received their First Holy Communion including seven from Datuk Simon Fung and five from special ministry (right photo), Oct 20, 2018. The occasion was celebrated by Fr Paul Lo and assisted by Deacon Russell Lawrine. Later, a fellowship dinner, certificates and gifts presentation were held to mark the occasion. Congratulations and welcome to the table of the Lord. May the Holy Spirit be their guide and may they continue to deepen their faith. Susan Graham

Retreat in preparation for First Holy Communion

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION is the third of the seven sacraments received and is an important rite of passage in a young Catholic’s life. 112 candidates ranging from 10 to 15 years, participated in the two days retreat at Pace Bene, Purak, Papar, which is situated about 42 km from Sacred Heart Cathedral, on 20-21 August 2018. The main aim of this retreat is to prepare the candidates on the importance of receiving the Eucharist and also understanding the sacrament of penance or confession. Apart from knowing the proceedings of the Holy Mass, candidates also learnt how to recognise and use the Catholic Bible. The programme was organised by Sunday School Faith Formation English language class, Anne Charles with Neil Mah as the retreat master. The candidates are to receive their First Holy Communion on Oct 20, 2018. – Susan Graham

The Eucharist Project for young people

KOTA KINABALU – The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian Life” (CCC 1324).

In collaboration with the Catechetical Ministry of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, the Parish Youth Pastoral Team (PYPT) planned a three-week program, called “The Eucharist Project”. The aim is to help our young people to understand and appreciate the beauty of the Eucharistic celebration.

On the Sundays of Oct 14 and 21, 2018, PYPT gathered the secondary section of the Sunday School, according to their language groups (Chinese, English and Bahasa Malaysia), at the Parish Hall and Room F7 for pre-sessions.

The topics shared during these pre-sessions were “What a Friend we have in Jesus” and “Healing in Mass”. They were conducted within an hour, with action songs, input on the topics, and group sharing.

On the afternoon of Oct 28, all three language groups gathered at the Cathedral for the main session by Fr Paul Lo on “the Technicality and Meaning of Mass”. The encouraging attendance of 400  included the students, their parents, the teachers and the Parish Youth. The 3-week program ended with an Eucharistic Celebration at 4pm on the same afternoon.

This was the first collaboration between the Sunday School and the Parish Youth Pastoral Team.

Witnessing the passion for evangelization from the youth and the teachers and going beyond the language differences to make this project possible, has given the organizers much love and encouragement.

Besides the participation of the students and the presence of their parents walking the journey together in knowing Christ presented a positive outlook.

As Fr Paul concluded in the Eucharistic celebration, he hopes that the initiative is not a one-and-only program, but an annual initiative for the growth of our young people. Serena Wong

Karnival Belia gathers 192 youth from 17 parishes

KLANG – Karnival Belia 2018 gathered 192 youths from 17 different parishes under the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur including those of the Diocese of Penang on 28-30 Sept 2018 at the Holy Redeemer Church.

The carnival which was its second edition carried the theme of this year’s World Youth Day “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God” from Luke 1:30.

Karnival Belia was organised by the Archdiocesan Bahasa Malaysia Apostolate (ABMA) led by Charles Eric with another 18 youths from different parishes in the Archdiocese as committee members and six invited youths from Kuching Archdiocese to serve as the music ministry.

Fr Albet Arockiasamy, ABMA Ecclesiastical Assistant opened the event with a Eucharistic celebration, concelebrated by Fr Rudolf Joannes of Keningau Diocese, who was the main speaker for the carnival.

In his first session “Proud to be a Catholic”, Fr Rudolf asked the youths two questions – “What is Catholic?” and “Why are they proud to be a Catholic?” Some gave very interesting answers; to the first question, most of them answered that Catholic is universal. Meanwhile for the second question, most youths said it’s because the Catholic Church has seven unique Sacraments.

In his second session entitled “You and Me”, Fr Rudolf explained the same-sex attraction and what we should do as a Catholic to understand this situation. Fr Rudolf also discussed the four human personalities.

Third session was given by Mabel and Meldrick from Kuching Archdiocese. They shared how music can help us get closer to God. They taught the participants on types of praises and worships. Both also demonstrated on how to praise and worship, which requires one to be immersed deeply during the session and praise God from their deepest heart.

Four church leaders became panellists for the dialogue session on the theme “Hearing the Voice of the Lord”; Brother Raj Manikam SG, Fr Clement Lim, Fr Alberto Irenus SJ and Sr Roseling Siaw Chen FSP with Allesandra Andrew as moderator.

The panellists shared on their journey of faith and their vocation to serve the Lord. They were asked whether they ever regretted answering this call, and all panellists said they have no regrets except peace and joy in serving.

Other activities carried out were Team Building and U-Nite through Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Adoration. Fr Rudolf gave his reflection and explanation on the purpose and the history of the Sacred Blessing of the Sacrament. The night continued with Sacrament of Reconciliation and counselling handled by the priests and religious. Sharings by participants concluded the U-NITE session.

A talk “Emerging Adults” given by Dr Walton Wider, covered topics such as “Marriage of Adults”, “Instability”, “A Sense of Possibilities” and “Feeling in Between”.

In his final session “Becoming a Witness of Christ”, Fr Rudolf expounded on the importance of knowing Jesus Christ and our responsibility to the society.

Last session for Karnival Belia is another dialogue session holding the theme “Do not be afraid to seek the Kingdom of God first”, taken from Luke 1:30 and Matthew 6:33. The panellists, Dr Walton Wider, Mabel and Meldrick shared their experiences throughout their lifetime as a Christian from University years until now. Meldrick said that youths are encouraged to do what they love responsibly, while giving praises to God.

Karnival Belia 2018 ended with the youths commissioned out by Archbishop Julian Leow in the Eucharistic celebration, concelebrated by Fr Albet Arockiasamy.

The Archbishop reminded the youths to not be afraid to be a witness and ambassador of Christ in their daily life, and therefore commissioned the youths out.  Stefan & Mary

Two Sabahan Boys Brigade hold first international task in the Philippines

TAGAYTAY, Philippines – Two Boys Brigade (BB) lieutenants from Kota Kinabalu were called in as trainers in the National Brigade Philippines Leadership Development Course 2018 Camp here organized by The Brigade Philippines from 5 – 7 October.

Jeremy Chin and Alister Lee from 11th KK Company, were given their first international task to speak and facilitate sessions to over 100 members from various Boys Brigade companies in the country. They were also the first Sabahan Brigade officers to be selected as international trainers.

As it was their first international task, they served under the guidance of Mr Ho Hee Mang from 2nd KK company, current BB Sabah State Commissioner and who was also working for BB Asia for this development course.

Jeremy said it was an honour to reach out to other Boys Brigade ministries in other countries. Both Jeremy and Alister facilitated topics on Communication, Squad Management, Games, NCOs roles and responsibilities.

The program was divided into three sections; Senior Leadership 1 & 2, Junior Leadership and a boot camp.

Jeremy said it was a wonderful experience during the camp, “we taught, shared, played and we learned together as how we did in the BB family back home.

“As we were facilitating the sessions, we also exchanged ideas on a case study, exchanged stories of both cultures, lifestyles, activities, as well as the study and working environments and many more.

“The members were very friendly and behaved well. Even during communication and games, everyone participated fully as the games required teamwork in order to complete it and we really had fun. The important thing is no one was left behind as we all journey together.”

The camp ended with the Founder’s Day celebration. It is always held in the month of October annually as it started in the year 1883 in Glasgow, Scotland by Sir William Alexander Smith.

Everyone wore their BB uniform; awards and certificates were also given out on that day. The celebration started with a drill competition which was judged by  international officers followed by the marching- in of the Colour Party Flag, BB Flag and the Philippines National Flag and other activities such as reading the Word of God, sharing and cheering.

The program was well organized and credit should be given due with a big thank you to BB Malaysia, BB Asia, The Brigade Philippines President, Mr Paul Tiu and his Officers for the hard work and unforgettable memories. Jeremy Chin

University of Malaya MACNITE welcomes Catholic freshmen

PETALING JAYA – Catholic Students’ Society of the University of Malaya (CSSUM) has successfully organized the annual event, MACNITE (Meet and Connect Night) on 22 Sept 2018, at Saint Francis Xavier (SFX) Church  to welcome Catholic freshmen of UM.

SFX PJ Church, being the nearest church to UM and hence, has become the main church for students from this university and a home for many.

It had been a wonderful evening driven by the UM Catholic students. Those present included a visiting priest Fr Varghese Lopez, SJ, UM alumni, representatives from various societies in SFX parish and the Catholic students who are currently studying in UM.

Peter Joachim, President of CSSUM, said, “There are no strangers here, only friends we are yet to meet.” He welcomed the Catholic freshmen and acknowledged the common fear of being in a new place. He related how CSSUM has brought him closer to God and wished for the same in others, while quoting Proverbs 3:5-6 to affirm his trust in God, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight”.

There were sing-along sessions; brothers and sisters sang to the rhythm of our vibrant Praise and Worship team as we praised the name of the Lord. We had food, games and sharing sessions by the alumni as well as representatives from various societies under the SFX Youth Ministry.

With this event, the family of CSSUM has expanded even more, with many more members and opportunities to spread the love of Christ, as Catholic university students.

Armed with its motto of “Christ. Service. Serve”, CSSUM is driven by the vision to empower Catholic students with the passion of Christ to love and to serve God. CSSUM is a community where Catholic students in UM can gather together, guide and help each other in many ways; study, social and spiritual life.

CSSUM is not just a community, though. We are a family in God’s love. – Hazel Kugan, CSSUM member

60 Asian youth leaders join Korea Pilgrimage Week

SEOUL – Once again, Seoul Archdiocese has organized the Korea Pilgrimage Week, Sep 10-15, 2018 in Seoul. The Korean Martyrs Exaltation Committee under the archdiocese invited the Asian Catholic youth and youth ministers to jointly celebrate the auspicious week.

Thirty Asian Catholic leaders from 13 countries and 30 youths from nine Asian countries responded to the invitation.

The annual program is held as a memorial to the Catholic martyrs who surrendered themselves and their lives to spread the love of Jesus Christ to others.

The pilgrimage was held with the objective to unite Catholic youth leaders from various Asian countries.

Throughout the pilgrimage, we visited several historical places. Each shrine possesses its own unique story in terms of the means of persecution, but for the same purpose i.e. defending their faith in Jesus Christ.

Korea is one of the countries which has many martyrs. In this year’s pilgrimage program, Vatican has made these pilgrimage places as official international pilgrimage sites.

The Holy Mass was celebrated at Seosomun Martyrs’ Shrine, a site of capital punishment for Catholic believers in the past.

Archbishop Rini Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization from Vatican has officially announced the Korea Pilgrimage route as an international pilgrimage destination and the scroll was handed over to Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to visit the shrines during this prilgrimage. I am also amazed by the local parishioners in this archdiocese for their astounding efforts in building this pilgrimage route to remember  the sacrifices of the martyrs and to inspire many.

“After the official announcement by the Vatican, I strongly suggest the faithful to take the opportunity to visit these places as there are too many martyrs’ stories that could not all be possibly published here.

“Historical stories of the martyrs made me reflect the extent of my willingness to defend my faith in Jesus Christ. Am I courageous enough and am I willing to be a martyr in this challenging world?

“I would like to invite you to reflect the same, how willing are you to defend your faith in Jesus Christ?” – Kelly Celestine, KK Archdiocese youth leader

Boys’ Brigade join Malaysia Day in Padang Merdeka

KOTA KINABALU – The KK Division Boys’ Brigade joined thousands of other Malaysians to celebrate Malaysia Day at Padang Merdeka here on Sept 2018. It was attended by 54 members and officers from the 2nd, 3rd, 11th, 13th KK and 1st Penampang Companies, led by Lieutenant Jeremy Chin, of 11th KK (picture).

The program started at 8.10pm and ends at 10.30pm. It was attended by VVIP Sabah State Governor TYT, Malaysia Prime Minister and his Deputy, Sabah Chief Minister, federal and local ministers.

There were numerous songs, a presentation of history of Sabah and Sarawak, followed by cake cutting. The celebration continued with flag rising and ended with colourful fireworks.

Of the thousands who came, the celebration displayed unity of multicultural and races in Malaysia, especially in Sabah. – Jeremy Chin

Arise and Shine: Wake Up Call For Youths

LABUAN – The youth Fellowship of Malaysian Covenant Community (FMCC) organized a program for over 80 youths at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament on 1st Sept 2018.

The theme of this fellowship taken from Isaiah 60: 1 “Arise and Shine, for Your Light has Come!” was indeed a beckon from our Lord to rise up to an evangelistic truth. The theme further resonates an even greater call for Catholic youth of this generation to defend their faith amidst the trials of this world.

The first session, “Arise, God is Reaching Out!” by Christopher Felix from Kuala Lumpur, bespoke the omnipotence of a great God and the rightful image of God as Father amidst a world marred with materialism.

The session began with an interesting yet thought-provoking social experiment that relied on the participants’ capacity to think beyond what the world teaches. The experiment, which consisted of three creators, three builders and some life cards, required participants to strategically think and produce a required item.

The lesson drawn from this experiment was in understanding the potency of human love versus God’s all-giving and all knowing, omnipotent love. Christopher further expounded on God’s love using Michaelangelo’s painting of the Creation of Adam, where God is constantly reaching out to us and freely giving His love; but the question is, “Are we reciprocating that love?”

The second session, entitled “Arise, put on the Full Armour!” involved separate sessions for both men and women. The men’s session led by Jahaziel D’Cruz also from KL, touched on the distinct difference between the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness, teaching all men how to rise up, equip themselves with God’s armour and overcome the vices and temptations of the enemy. Jahaziel gave illustrations on the significance of each piece of armour. He further elucidates the specific call of God to young men to be an example of faith for women.

The women’s session, led by Aline Lim from Kota Kinabalu was certainly a wake up call for young women. Aline first mentioned that, “women cannot arise, and cannot shine if women themselves have not experienced light in their lives.” She brought to light all the struggles that women face in their lives today. She further explained that the battle women face is not only one that is physical but spiritual.

Similar to Jahaziel, she also spoke of the significance of each piece of armour but in the perspective of Godly womanhood. Her final message for women was certainly of genuine impact, as she says, “It is only when women become women, that men can become men.” A definitive call for women to embrace femininity in its truest form.

The final session in the evening was graced by the presence of Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu, and the elders of each Catholic Covenant Community. The evening was lined up with a variety of food, an awesome emcee and a wonderful praise and worship session by the youths from Kota Kinabalu.

An exhortation led by John Paul Felix concluded with the theme taken from Isaiah 60:1-3, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

This is certainly a great summon of our Lord to rise up in the midst of darkness. John used personal accounts of his own life to testify on how the Lord shone light in the darkness of his life.

Each session given by the aforementioned speakers was further solidified and convicted with the life experiences and testimonies of four young people, namely Michele Peter, Justin D’Souza, Rachel Gomez and Jessica D’Cruz. Each testified God’s greatness in their time of darkness, giving a message of hope and an invitation to the participants that just as God was able to use their lives, God can use the lives of the participants as well.

The night came to a wonderful end after a ministering session by Christopher Felix and a final praise song. As a whole, this youth programme bore immense fruit and significance to the lives of the young people that participated. As Catholics, we ought to know that God does not call the qualified but he qualifies the called. – Michele Peter

Commissioning of first Catholic Boys and Girls Brigade in Kuching

KUCHING – The 11th Kuching Company, The Boys Brigade (BB) and The Girls Brigade (GB) were officially commissioned by Fr Felix Au, rector of Blessed Sacrament Church (BSC) here, as another initiative to reach out to its community on 12 August 2018.

In his resolve to promote faith formation and discipline at a tender age, Fr Felix gave his blessings for the setting up of both a BB and GB Company at BSC. A recruitment drive for helpers and officers began late December last year.

In March 2018, the only existing Catholic Boys Brigade Company in Sarawak conducted their first BB meeting at BSC. The GB, a separate organisation, held their meeting the following month.

There are currently four Catholic Boys Brigade Companies in Malaysia. The other three are in Sabah. The Church’s Girls Brigade stands on record as the first ever Catholic GB company in Sarawak.

The objective of the Boys Brigade is the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom among members and the promotion of habits of Obedience, Reverence, Discipline, Self-Respect and all that tends towards a true Christian Character.

It upholds the motto – Sure and Stedfast, taken from Hebrews 6:19. The original Old English (King James Version) spelling of ‘Stedfast’ has been retained.

Meanwhile the objective of the Girls Brigade is Seek, Serve and Follow Christ with the aim to help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and through Self-Control, Reverence and a sense of Responsibility to find true Enrichment of Life.

There are different levels of recruitment into both the Boys Brigade and Girls Brigade, which may vary slightly. However, both the BB and GB are currently collaborating to focus only on the Junior Section, which is open to boys and girls aged 9-12 years old. There are plans to start a Senior Section for youths of 13-18 years’ age group next year.

The 11th Kuching Company Boys Brigade now has seven Officers and 20 boys, with Clement Sii as their Captain. He was from the 2nd Kuching Company Boys’ Brigade at Trinity Methodist Church.

The 11th Kuching Company Girls Brigade has four Officers serving 14 girls. Its Captain is Julita Chen from 3rd Kuching Company Girls’ Brigade at Trinity Methodist Church. Ivy Chai

Boys’ Brigade in Malaysian Catholic Church:

  1. 1st Binatang Company (Bintangor), Sarawak, formed in 1974 at Church of Christ The King. But after that closed down in 1980.
  2. 4th Kota Kinabalu Company, formed in1982 at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Sabah.
  3. 11th Kota Kinabalu Company, formed in 2015 at Stella Maris Church, Tanjung Aru, Sabah.
  4. 13th Kota Kinabalu Company, formed in 2018 at St. Simon Church, Likas, Sabah.
  5. 11th Kuching Company, currently the only Catholic BB in Sarawak. Formed in 2018 at Blessed Sacrament Church, Kuching, Sarawak.

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